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ArmstrongShares to commemorate September 11

| Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011

"You don't have to walk into a burning building or wear a badge to rescue someone. You don't have to go to medical school to help a person feel better, or walk on the moon to change this earth. You simply have to care about what happens in our country. We can all honor the lives lost on September 11 by making our lives count even more."

— Former First Lady Laura Bush

Mindy Knappenberger was inspired after reading a Laura Bush quote in a popular women's magazine recently about making our lives count in the aftermath of the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Armstrong County Community Foundation executive director knew right then and there what she had to do.

"I'd really like to help Armstrong County do something just like she (former First Lady Laura Bush) said to do after 9-11 to make our lives count even more, in commemoration of 9-11," said Knappenberger, and the idea for ArmstrongShares was born. "So what can we do with that?"

What the foundation is doing is commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9-11 by hosting ArmstrongShares on Friday, Sept. 9 for 10 hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m at its office at 160 N. McKean Street, Kittanning, and at Books & Beans at 156 Market St., Leechburg, from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Organizers are asking the community to "make your lives count" for the 10th anniversaryby bringing in 10 items during 10 hours on that day to benefit HAVIN (Helping All Victims In Need). ArmstrongShares will be an annual event benefitting a different nonprofit organization every year.

The 10 items may include personal hygiene items (adult/baby), nonperishable food items, paper products or a gift card for a food or clothing store. Every donor will receive an ACCF reusable shopping bag.

There will be free parking out front at the Kittanning locationfor donors' convenience in dropping off their donations.

A complete HAVIN wish list is available at www.ArmstrongShares.org. ArmstrongShares also is on Facebook as accf.

Knappenberger said it's important for her to do something to recognize the 9-11 anniversary, but it's her job with the foundation to help others do that as well.

"It gives people such joy to give," said Knappenberger. "You will receive more joy than you ever give. I think that people will share their resources with others, that's how we came up with a name to call the day. We have found Armstrong County to be so generous. I know people will do this."

"This is one of those few ways to take something that was so awful and make something positive out of it," she added.

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